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Building up and being creative

“Now there is a final reason I think that Jesus says, ‘Love your enemies.’ It is this: that love has within it a redemptive power. And there is a power there that eventually transforms individuals. Just keep being friendly to that person. Just keep loving them, and they can’t stand it too long. Oh, they react in many ways in the beginning. They react with guilt feelings, and sometimes they’ll hate you a little more at that transition period, but just keep loving them. And by the power of your love they will break down under the load. That’s love, you see. It is redemptive, and this is why Jesus says love. There’s something about love that builds up and is creative. There is something about hate that tears down and is destructive. So love your enemies.” — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I really wasn’t going to talk about this latest shooting. I wasn’t. Coming as close on the heels as it did to the last one. Things have been depressing enough. Also, when I was waiting for one of my most recent job interviews, one of the major networks had their morning show on, and they kept reporting there had been a shooting at a “sick” temple. A sick temple! Not a Sikh temple. I mean, yeah, sure, it’s not a word maybe you say every DAY, but I’d think you might want to research how to pronounce it before you go on national television and rub salt in their wounds by pronouncing the name of their religion wrong over. And over. AND OVER. Seriously, it wasn’t just once. It was repeatedly. And it was MORTIFYING. (If I don’t get that job, I’m blaming the CBS morning show for throwing me off my game by mispronouncing an important word seconds before I had to go into an interview. Do you hear me? I WILL SUE YOU, CBS.)

(Update: per one of my commenters, apparently, it is SUPPOSED to be “sick,” and it’s my public school education and every OTHER network that had it wrong. My most abject apologies. And, well, you go, CBS News, for being the only network who was saying it correctly.)

Anyway, no. I wasn’t going to go into it. I really wasn’t. Because we’ve all had enough pain and misery and heartbreak. I don’t know what’s in the air or what’s been going on. Is it Mercury retrograde? Because that’s July 14 to August 8, and even though I don’t REALLY believe in that stuff…that’s just about when things started to go to shit in Amy-ville. If that’s the case, are things going to start looking up on Thursday? (Oh, for those of you who have no idea what this means – Mercury retrograde is an astrological term for when all the bad shit goes down. People start acting all haywirey; your brain feels all fritzy; the tiniest things make you INFURIATED…basically, it’s crazy-town in star-ville. If you believe in such things. Which I both do, and I don’t. I’m one of those people who’s eminently practical, except for when I’m not at all. I’m an enigma, what can I say.) Is it just a bad time overall for all my friends and loved ones and acquaintances and strangers and such? What the hell is happening? Maybe an alien released some sort of cloud of evil in the air, I have no idea. I just know most people I know are having a tough go of it right now, which is weird.

Damn you, you mercurial planet!

Anyway, then today I read this article. Sikh temple shooter hoped to inspire a wave of hate crimes. Apparently, the shooter was a white supremacist who played in a bunch of white power bands (that’s…a thing? I could happily have lived the rest of my days without knowing that “hatecore” was a thing) and he’s been online for years, encouraging other white supremacists to get out from behind their computers and go out into the real world and practice what they preached. And what do they preach? Again, something I’d be happy living the rest of my life not knowing: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.” These are apparently called “the 14 words” and are the core belief system of a hate group called The Order.

I know I live with my head in the sand like an ostrich most of the time, because it’s a happier, quieter, and less-hatey place to be. Sometimes I pop out of my safe sand-hole and see things like this, or movies like American History X, and back to my hidey-hole I go.

OK, yes, it was an amazing movie, but it made my stomach hurt, ok? I’m a delicate flower when it comes to violence like this.

This man not only killed 6 people (and wounded three others), but he apparently did it in the hope it was inspiring. That it would charge others to go forth and do the same thing. A lot of people were saying that he targeted the Sikhs because they look like Muslims, with their turbans, but now it’s looking like it was less of a religious thing and more of a color of their skin thing.

And I absolutely don’t get this. Not at all.

I guess, if forced to do so, I can, on some level, understand why some people, across the board, hate people of other religions. Because those people DARE imply, by believing in their God and individual belief system, that the religion of the person who is doing the hating is wrong. Also, it’s ingrained in us to dislike and mistrust what is different from us. Different = scary! And scary = bad! So, although I don’t agree with it, I can see where that’s coming from. Then add to that the fact that people assume ALL Muslims (and I guess, although I didn’t realize people didn’t know there was a difference, Sikhs) are responsible for ALL terrorism, and there’s that hatred, too. Again, don’t agree with it, but I see where the genesis is.

But I have never, and will never, get the “hating someone because they are a different skin color” thing. (Am I going to get a whole bunch of scary comments because of this? Don’t bother. I moderate and I’ll delete them. I’m not perpetrating your hate speech here.)

Apparently, they’re scared they’re stealing our jobs, and our women, and I don’t know, polluting our gene pool, or something? Well, shit, the gene pool over here before we got here was all Native American, what the hell did we do when we first showed up? We stole ALL the jobs (well, we created them, and the need for them, too, I suppose) and the women that we didn’t bring with us and we made a whole NEW gene pool. This wasn’t even a white country to START with! What the hell? It’s not like we’re preserving something that always was. What am I missing?

The people on this map look mighty not-white to me. Maybe I need a new eyeglass prescription?

And since when are they “our” jobs and “our” women and, well, hell, “our” country? Who died and left it to us just because we’re pigmentally challenged? I think the jobs should be going to the most-qualified and the women (not being property) should be choosing who they want to sleep with, or not sleep with (me, I’d sleep with, oh, I don’t know, THE PERSON IN THE EQUATION WHO ISN’T A TOWERING RACIST DOUCHECANOE) and as for the country…well, it’s here, you know? No one OWNS it. It’s not a barrette or a pair of flip-flops or a can of creamed corn. It’s a COUNTRY. We can SHARE it. We’re a friggin’ melting pot, we didn’t get that name because we were all the same damn COLOR and SHAPE and SIZE. What’s wrong with you people?

Also, and this is what bugs me the most, I think – it’s not like you’re born brown or black or white or yellow or pink and you’re immediately A DIFFERENT PERSON. We’re all the same under our skin. We all have the same things that drive us, even if we look different from the outside. We all want to be loved; we all want acceptance; we all love to laugh; we all want enough money to be comfortable; we all want happiness in our lives; we all fear pain and loss; we all have quirks and peccadilloes. We’re all people, dammit. I’ve said this before. I’ll say it again. We all have the same genetics. We just come in different packages. You can take the same exact product and put it in five different boxes and guess what? IT’S THE SAME PRODUCT. Why are you being fooled by packaging? You must be a shitload of fun to take grocery shopping. None of us are better than anyone else. None of us is superior, based on something as random as what color our skin is, based on genetics.  I’ve actually read that in the future (the far-off future, I don’t even remember how far off, but, far) this won’t even be an issue, because we’ll ALL be Star-Bellied Sneetches. We’ll all have cross-bred so much that we’ll all be a beautiful light-brown color, and no one will be able to claim “I AM BETTER THAN YOU KAPOW GENETICS!” because we’ll all be the SAME.

In the future, they will all have stars upon thars.

Anyway, back to topic. This guy wanted to generate a campaign of hate. He wanted people to look up to him and say, huh. Look at what THAT guy did. I could do that, too! What an inspiration! But here’s what I propose. A counter-measure.

Let’s fight that with a campaign of love.

Our campaign is easier to carry out. You don’t need to stockpile an arsenal. You don’t need to hide guns under your jacket, or buy bullet-proof clothing. You don’t end up dead at the end of our campaign, shot to death by the police protecting the citizenry.

In our campaign, our artillery is something you use every day: words. Words and deeds. Even better: they’re free, and there’s no waiting period or background check.

Be kind to people. Tell people you love them. Support someone who needs it. Instead of leaving a passive-aggressive comment on a blog or a Facebook post: choose to take the high road and don’t leave anything at all. Write a blog post encouraging love. Remember that everyone you meet is struggling with something, and even if it’s not the SAME something you’re struggling with, it’s equally as difficult for them as your things are for you. Don’t make their burden heavier than it already is. If you can? Take some of it on yourself. Everything is easier to carry if you share the load.

If you have money to donate, donate it to a charity that supports something you believe in that will further the cause: a kickstarter for a struggling artist. A fund to keep arts in the schools. A homeless shelter. A food bank. Teach your children that tolerance and love are the answers to things, not hatred and impatience. Use words that build up, not words that tear down. Smile more. Frown less. Laugh often. Be kind to yourself, because if you’re happy, it’s easier to let your love out for everyone else to enjoy it. Let everything you do, no matter how small, come from a place of love.

But Amy! Some people are very hard to love! Yep. See the quote at the beginning of the piece. I know they are. Sadly, those are the people that need us to beam the love onto them the most. I know, it’s tough.

But Amy! This sounds like crazy hippie-dippie kumbaya shit! Yep. I know. Can you think of a better fix? Because I can’t. They’re going to try to pump gallons of hatred all over the world. Can you think of a better way to combat that? I’m listening.

And if we all use our collective power to put all the love we’ve got into the world – well, maybe it doesn’t fix everything that’s wrong. I’m not that naive. But that much love out there, that much positive energy out there, you can’t tell me that’s a bad thing. We’ve already made a difference. And it’s a ripple effect, all that love. It dominoes. It goes from you, to the person you touched, to the person they touch, on and on and on. It doesn’t stop. I don’t remember a lot about physics, but I do remember the Law of Conservation of Energy. Energy might be able to change form, but it can’t be created or destroyed. We put that energy out there, all that love-energy, and it STAYS out there. It’s not GOING anywhere. And maybe along the way, it transforms some of the hate out there into love, who knows.

Don’t let the hate win. Don’t let the badness take over. We’re better than that. They might have their 14 words, but I propose we do, too:

All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)

Love you guys.

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About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

39 responses to “Building up and being creative

  • Fictional Chick

    I went to a Sikh-run Montessori school… I have friends from then still around today… so the whole thing just made me sick to my stomach. The violence today is disheartening… mind you I play violent video games, and write about killers so I’m trying not to sound too hypocritical but I certainly live in reality… and as cynical as I can be- I still love the crazy hippie-dippie kumbaya shit. BRING IT ON.

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    • lucysfootball

      All the hippie-dippy shit today. :)

      I like violent stuff, too – movies, at least, and books, so I’m with you on that. But that’s my escapism. I hate when it’s really happening. It’s just so disheartening. And I get way too upset way too easily. I’m a sap.

      Like

  • borkadventures

    Beautifully written, and I think that you eloquently said everything there is to say. I agree wholeheartedly, and have nothing to add!

    But a sidebar: I first became aware of hate metal groups from American History X. Which, by the way, you chose the perfect screenshot from the film. I know exactly what scene of violence that smiling Edward Norton derived from, and it still chills and horrifies me.

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    • lucysfootball

      Thank you! You’re right, I didn’t even think of that in American History X, that they had those bands. I think sometimes things are so upsetting I tend to ignore them. Or block them. Or forget them the minute I learn them. Even though the movie was great, and very intelligent – it was so disturbing.

      Like

  • Cathy Rodgers

    Ditto, what you said! I keep my head in the sand a lot, too. It’s a happier, less anxious place. I have a friend who’s a psychiatrist – she tells her patients to limit themselves to no more than 30 minutes of news media per day. I’ve found that even that amount of news is too much. Once or twice a week, I check news headlines on-line – plenty of time to see what’s going on in the world and see that most everyone/everything is still completely f’d up.

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    • lucysfootball

      I tend to know too much of what’s going on, and then it upsets me. I should probably read it less. It makes me less tense when I know less, even though then I get mad at myself for not being up on the current events enough.

      Like

      • Charleen

        Yeah, this is pretty much me in a nutshell. I feel incredibly ignorant for not knowing more about the world, but I’m depressed enough about the little that I do know. Is it so wrong not to want to subject myself to more of it?

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        • lucysfootball

          It’s a tough thing to balance. I know. My dad’s always saying, “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT!” about this and that in the news…but is it such an awful thing I don’t know about these things? Because they just make me so sad, when I finally know about them.

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  • Andreas Heinakroon

    Sorry about the Cloud of Evil. The minions weren’t supposed to release it until AFTER I’m in control. Honest mistake. Promise.

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  • Andreas Heinakroon

    I still think most hatred comes from fear. Fear of what we don’t understand (which, to be fair, is plentiful) and fear of not fitting in, not having a place. Or just a fear of things changing.

    Like

  • sj

    [applause]

    You know, I love funny-silly-story-Amy, but I also love shut-the-hell-up-and-listen-cos-this-is-important-Amy.

    Wonderfully said, my friend. Thank you for saying it.

    Sidenote: in the 5th grade, I was a Sneetch for our class play. I still have a special place in my heart for that story.

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    • lucysfootball

      The Sneetches are my favorites! I mean, I love a lot of his other stories a lot (Horton, the Grinch, Yertle) but I LOVE the Sneetches. So much. I want to read it to The Nephew, but he’s PETRIFIED of the Grinch, and the book I have has the Grinch on the cover all huge and in color and I’m afraid to bring it out until he’s over his Grinch-phobia. (We had to take a Grinch ornament off my parents’ tree last Christmas because he was scared of it. He told me when I went home, “I don’t like that green man! He’s too scary! Is he still in the tree?” and I said, “No, he’s gone,” and he said, “What if he comes back?” all nervous, and I said, “If he ever came back here, he would never hurt you, because he’s not a bad Grinch, but if he tried to hurt you, I would pick that old Grinch up and I would carry him outside and I would tell him, LEAVE MY NEPHEW ALONE AND NEVER COME BACK.” And he looked at me very seriously and nodded and said, “That would be GOOD!” and then laughed a little gleeful laugh. I love him.)

      Thank you. I’m glad you liked it! Things have been serious-y lately, haven’t they? I’m ready for this…well…whatever-it-is to blow away now.

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      • borkadventures

        Question re. The Sneeches— I’m not well-read when it comes to Dr. Seuss (one of the few rebellions I take part in), and so I was wondering if the phrase “stars upon thars” came from their book. Because, in high school, my friends and I used to put metallic star stickers on our faces (we were very silly girls) and say “stars upon thars!”, and I’d say it, thinking it was something silly one of the other girls came up with. What was I saying all those years ago?!

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        • lucysfootball

          Yes, it’s from the Sneetches! Some of the Sneetches had stars on their bellies, and some didn’t. The Star-Bellied Sneetches thought they were better than the others and wouldn’t let their children play together. A man – Sylvester McMonkey McBean – shows up with a machine that puts stars on everyone’s bellies. The original Star-Bellied Sneetches are HORRIFIED and immediately McBean says, oh, for a low low price, I can take YOUR STARS OFF! And back and forth it goes, until no one knows who used to have stars, and no one knows who didn’t – and then McBean skips town. And they realize the stars didn’t matter at all in the first place, that they were all the same underneath anyway. It’s the BEST.

          The “stars upon thars” quote is “When the Plain-Belly Sneetches popped out, they had stars!/They actually did. They had stars upon thars!” I probably overuse it, but I love it so much. Because I love that he made up “thars.” Seuss’s playfulness with language gets me every time.

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  • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

    Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. I actually wrote a post about this a while back called “Joy Is One Big Fuck You To Oppression” and then I wasn’t sure how I felt about it so I didn’t put it up. You have inspired ME. With LOVE. Because I absolutely agree with you, and while I also believe that there’s a place (an important place!!) for anger and outrage, I am deeply, totally convinced that people open up their hearts and their minds in response to kindness and love in a way that they simply don’t in response to hate or anger, no matter how justifiable it might seem. Thank you for writing this. Thank you, thank you.

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    • lucysfootball

      Oh, yes. I completely agree – we shouldn’t squelch our anger (women, especially, have been told to do that for too long, because it’s not LADYLIKE, there’s a time and a place for everything, even anger, I’m down with that 100%) but I really feel that if it’s possible to respond with love, and we do, nothing but good can come of that. Or, we can at least try, and see what happens. Because hate’s been winning long enough, I think.

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  • Kris Rudin (@krisrudin)

    Wow. Well said, Amy, well said! And while I usually come here for some snorts & giggles, I am always touched when you go all serious-face on us.

    You are so right: LOVE. Love always, and everywhere!!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

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  • Heather

    I needed this today. Thanks, Amy!

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  • lahikmajoe

    Lay off the hippie lettuce little sister.

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  • Jill

    Yes! I love this post Amy and I’m totally on board for the campaign of love! It’s always the answer. Not always easy but always the right thing. :)

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    • lucysfootball

      Aw, thank you! I’m so glad you liked it! I purposely was nice while driving today, even though the other drivers were being jerky. That was my good deed of the day. I think it helped. :)

      Like

      • Jericha Senyak (@JerichaSenyak)

        You never know. That might have saved a life, there. Road rage is some bad, scary, dangerous shit. Actively being nice might just have calmed somebody the hell down, and THAT mighta meant that THEY didn’t cut someone ELSE off, and THAT mighta meant that somebody didn’t get in an accident. So, yes.

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  • Blogdramedy

    There is nothing that a Beatles song lyric can’t solve. Think about it. It’s so true! :-)

    Like

  • This Is How I Deal…Am I Doing It Right? « Adventures in Borkdom

    […] in this situation, the only way to get past the hate and anger, is to combat it with love. I think I read that over at Lucy’s Football last week, which was definitely well-timed in my situation. So, I’m going to do whatever I can to help […]

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